State to pay $3 million to man injured in crash with state worker

Posted: Tuesday, March 06, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Superior Court judge on Monday approved a settlement agreement that calls for the state to pay $3 million to a man who suffered brain damage and other injuries when a truck operated by a state worker collided head on with his car three years ago.

James Moss, 54, was injured when Ronda Katelnikoff, a worker with the state Department of Health and Social Services, lost control of the truck she was operating, crossed the center line and slammed into Moss's car on the Sterling Highway on Oct. 22, 1997.

''The pickup truck was in the service of the Department of Health and Social Services at the time of the accident,'' said Marty Farrell, Moss's lawyer.

Assistant Attorney General Stephanie Galbraith said the settlement does not mean the state thinks Katelnikoff was liable, at fault or negligent.

''The truck hit black ice and the tail swung across. She did the best she could do under the circumstances, but was unable to regain control. There were treacherous conditions. Emergency personnel were falling at the scene,'' Galbraith said. ''It was determined that settlement was in the best interests of the state.''

Judge John Reese approved the settlement.

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